Nancy R. Gorr of Peterborough passed away peacefully early Saturday, August 22nd, at Summerhill Assisted Living after a period of failing health. She was 86 years old.
Known affectionately as “Gummie” to her family and friends, Nancy was born on April 25, 1934, in Pittsburgh, PA to Walter and Gertrude Rothenhoefer. Raised in nearby Mt. Lebanon, PA, Nancy was a good student, and a generous, kind, civic-minded young woman who loved to help her father tend his “victory garden”. After the second world war, Nancy took a lengthy trip to Europe with her father and mother on the RMS Queen Mary, an experience that fed her curious spirit and instilled a lifetime love of travel and exploration. After high school, Nancy attended college at Denison University, OH and later The University of Pennsylvania, earning a Bachelor’s degree and a certificate in occupational therapy. On January 30, 1956 she married Arthur R. Gorr. The couple lived in Philadelphia for a time, but eventually returned to their hometown of Mt. Lebanon where Nancy raised their four children while maintaining an active role at Southminster Presbyterian Church, working part-time as an occupational therapist, and staying involved in the wider community.
In 1982, Nancy moved to Peterborough, NH, having fallen in love with the town after discovering it on a visit to her daughter Ellen, who was attending nearby Keene State College. Nancy soon became a fixture in Peterborough, joining the local Rotary Club (and later serving as its first female president), and participating in various town committees and charitable boards (she was instrumental in establishing the now annual “Holiday Lights” tradition). In 1986 she became Executive Director of the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, which she led until her first “retirement” in 1995. In recognition of her contributions to the town, Nancy was named Peterborough’s “Citizen of the Year” later that year, a fact that she used to jokingly cite as proof that she should be exempt from household chores. In 1996 she became the Executive Director of the Parent Guidance Center (now The River Center), where she worked until her second retirement in 2001. In her leisure time, Nancy loved dining out—particularly for breakfast at either The Diner, or Nonie’s— singing in the Monadnock Chorus, playing bells and serving as Deacon for Union Congregational Church, playing bridge, and attending lectures at the Monadnock Summer Lyceum. An avid train traveler and devoted grandmother, Nancy almost always spent part of her summer visiting her children and grandchildren in Colorado, Minnesota, and Maine, and often still made time to attend the Chautauqua Institution in western NY with old friends from Mt. Lebanon. Her local family: daughter Ellen and grandson Seth meanwhile, got to enjoy her company year-round, sharing her longtime residence at Pine St. starting in the mid 1990s. Despite having earned a well-deserved break, Nancy continued to be active in her adopted community well into her later years, working part time as an administrative assistant for Union Congregational Church until her third and final retirement in 2015. Later that year she sold her home of 33 years and moved into Summerhill Assisted Living where she lived out the rest of her days happily, in the presence of longtime friends and frequent visitors.
Despite health challenges later in life, including overcoming cancer in her late 70s, and an ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease, Nancy retained her great warmth, kindness, and gentle sense of humor until the last. Gummie is survived, and dearly missed, by her four children: Art and wife Susan of Buffalo, MN; Steve and wife Suzi of North New Portland, ME; Ellen of Harrisville, NH; Bruce and wife Kristin of Steamboat, CO; six grandchildren: Seth and wife Adria of South Pasadena, CA; Olivia and husband Taylor of Burns, CO; Elliot of Crested Butte, CO; Jordan of Durango, CO; Evan of Farmington, ME; Georgia, of Buffalo, MN; One great-grandchild to-be, name TBD of Burns, CO; countless grand-dogs and grand-cats; and many dear friends and extended family members across the country.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Nancy’s name to Grand Monadnock Rotary Club, or Union Congregational Church in Peterborough.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Nancy R. Gorr, please visit our floral store.